Laws of age dating consent
Age of consent laws are designed to protect children and young people from sexual exploitation and abuse.Such laws effectively determine that children and young people below the age of consent are yet to reach a level of general maturity enabling their safe participation in sexual activities.This sheet is designed to inform practitioners and researchers of age of consent legislation in Australia.If you are a young person seeking advice on sexual relations please refer to some of the following websites: Age of consent laws attempt to strike a balance between protecting children and young people from exploitation and other harms, and preserving their right to privacy and healthy sexual development.
Individuals are encouraged to check the currency of any information that is provided by contacting relevant departments or organisations.
If you are under 12, a person can't have sex with you or touch you sexually or perform a sexual act in front of you, even if you agree.
If you are 12 to 15, a person can’t have sex with you, touch you sexually or perform a sexual act in front of you if they are more than two years older than you, even if you agree.
For further information regarding sexual interaction with 16 and 17 years old under special care please see the relevant state or territory legislation.
It is a common and normal part of sexual development for young people to explore and experiment in sexual interactions with their peers (Araji, 2004; Barbaree & Marshall, 2006; Eade, 2003).
A person who is caring for you or supervising you, like a teacher, youth worker or foster carer, can't have sex with you or sexually touch you or perform a sexual act in front of you, even if you agree, unless they are married to you.